PET TO PONDER
Meeeu returned home from the office tired as usual, carelessly she dropped her hand bag on the teapoy and was relieved to see a cup of tea kept ready on the table by her servant boy, Ramesh. So after all the training for the past three year, there is some reward, but when Meenu took the cup in her hand she understood that the tea was not as inviting as she expected for it was cold and insipid, as Ramesh still could not follow the law of measurement of time, for instead of making tea at 5.15pm as instructed, he would always finish it by 4.15.pm. But these days Meenu always kept her tongue tied, surrendering to the fact that she cannot change him, for if she had succeeded in converting him to a "Mr Perfect" whilst he kept numerous blunders, he would not have been a 12 year old servant boy still, but instead might have become "'Mr. Somebody" in a respectable position.
Meenu sat on the Verandah with the tea and looked with enthusiasm at all the flower pots arranged. A gentle breeze passed with a silky caress, making the leaves and flowers nod, Meenu felt that they were greeting her back home after a tiring day in the of¬fice; it raised her spirits. Yes! Everyday she cherished these precious moments, away from the crowd and noise and amongst alive but harmless gentle plants. Since her husband was posted out of station the loneliness which en¬gulfed her was erased partially by these colourful shrubs.
Evening turned to twilight, 'Twilight'! Meenu's adorable part of day, the stillness of it was elegant, leaves even those of the giant coconut palms stood still as though bidding farewell with respect to the sun retiring to its abode. The stillness was disrupted by the scurrying of her two tiny tots back from their tuition class. Their home coming was always paraded with their noisy narration of that day's events at school. Meenu nodded to many and replied to a few of their non-stop stories. Finally she got up giving a final glance to her favourite plants as though conveying the message "we will meet again tomorrow" and hurried to refresh herself with a bath and back for a fight in the kitchen with the daily chores.
Entering the toilet she saw that spi¬der, yes! the same one; she was ob¬serving for the past two weeks. A smile crossed Meenu's face, what is that instinct which is making her ob¬serve this creature and not destroy it? For all the years she remembered she used to kill these creatures mercilessly at first sight and clear the web. Now it was Ramesh's task to do so and most of the weekends Meenu used to shout "'Ramesh come-on bring the duster, there are cobwebs in this corner". Even her little ones were taught to kill these dirty venomous creatures with their slippers, but now why this sudden liking, she ob¬served with keen interest at her pet spider, two weeks back it had only four legs and Meenu was embarrassed as she had learnt that a spider was always a eight legged creature but now her spider had two more small and dedicate growing legs and really strange a tail like projection from behind. It looked so pale and innocent that day too. Meenu made the same gesture, she slowly placed her palm near the spider, as usual it hurried away to a distance. Meenu asked "Spider when ill you shed your fear and get into my palm, when will you start responding to the attention I pay?" Meenu recollected the number of stories she had read during her childhood, how a spider with its web had rescued a king who had taken refuge in a cave, "Bang! Bang!" the loud thrashing on the toilet door made Meenu come to the present "Mummy I want to go to the toilet, please come out soon". Meenu finished her bath fast and still laughing inside at her lunatic behaviour of considering the spider a pet at mid thirty's, engrossed on drying her hair. Her tiny tot came again narrating some incident with a slipper. Meenu just nodded absent mindedly, but the word spider caught her attention. Looking at the slipper held by her child made Meenu cry out aloud "Oh my God, what have you done?" For her pet spider lay smashed and stuck on the slipper. Her tiny tot gave her a puzzled look for she did not understand why her mother reacted in such a way for all the while she was only helping her to clean the house.
AG'S OFFICE, TRIVANDRUM
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